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The contribution of library programmes at the Emfuleni Library and Information Services in creating social capital to reduce poverty

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dc.contributor.advisor Van der Walt, Thomas, 1957- Adams, Lindall Elaine 2019-01-21T09:27:29Z 2019-01-21T09:27:29Z 2018-01
dc.identifier.citation Adams, Lindall Elaine (2018) The contribution of library programmes at the Emufuleni library and information services in creating social capital to reduge poverty, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <>
dc.description.abstract The thesis is intended to assess the contribution of the public library service to the creation of social capital to reduce poverty. However, in research studies targeting this subject, the lack of empirical research is continuously mentioned or suggestions are made that more qualitative studies could shed more insight on the creation of social capital in public libraries. The concept of social capital or rather how it is created in public libraries leads to the complexity of understanding the creation thereof in public libraries, while continuous suggestions are that more qualitative studies would give light on its creation in public libraries and also in other subject disciplines (Aguilar & Sen 2009: 425; Halpern 2005: 1; Lin 2001: 3). However, to find clarity about what social capital is, the study focuses on Pierre Bourdieu’s description of social capital. Pierre Bourdieu is known as one of the first social scientists who tried to understand the concept of social capital (Bourdieu 2005: 1). The public library from a social capital viewpoint is a trustworthy social network where people have access to resources to benefit their socio-economic development. The presence of social capital is visible in every aspect of life and for that reason it is not uncommon for social capital to have an effect on unemployment, mental health and social empowerment (Thompson 2015). Social capital is a recognisable term in Library and Information Science (LIS) literature (Stilwell 2016: 54; Strand 2016: 144; Skelly 2014: 2; Aabø, Audunson & Vårheim 2010:16; Hart 2007:22; Bhandar, Pan & Tan 2007:263). However, the idea that social capital in libraries exists may not be recognised, such as in the case of the book Bowling alone, authored by Robert Putnam (Putnam 1995:22). Public libraries fulfil the role of social capital in two ways: connecting individuals and the community with their library services and programmes and promoting the staff-patron interactions that attempt to create patron trust in the library. Feldman (2009: 5) illustrates the notion of social capital in the library as generated through library services and programmes that could contribute towards empowerment, skills development, happy families and positive economic growth (Feldman 2009:5). The study is an sequential explanatory mixed methods study. There were three data collections methods use. Questionnaires with mostly close-ended questions, interviews and official documents. The research participants were 115 library patrons and 58 library staff of the Emfuleni Local Municipality Library and Information Service. The researcher found several explanations on the creation of social capital, but none had measurable outcomes that could illustrate the societal value of public libraries, apart from one, which was to build a trusting relationship between the library, staff and patrons. Hence, through Vårheim’s (2014: 68) observation about trust and patron attendance, library programmes were identified as the measurable outcome to rationalise the importance of the public library and the value of libraries and library staff. In such a case, the societal value of libraries can be understood. Through the correct measuring instruments that were identified in this study, public libraries address the creation of social capital that makes it possible to show that public library services support lifelong learning and workforce development. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (397 pages) : illustrations (some color) en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Emfuleni library and information service en
dc.subject Emfuleni local municipality en
dc.subject Library programmes en
dc.subject Library space en
dc.subject Measurable outcomes en
dc.subject Poverty en
dc.subject Public libraries en
dc.subject Skills en
dc.subject Social capital en
dc.subject Societal value en
dc.subject Trust en
dc.subject Unemployment en
dc.subject South Africa en
dc.subject.ddc 027.43
dc.subject.lcsh Public libraries -- Administration -- Case studies en
dc.subject.lcsh Public libraries -- Emfuleni Local Municipality (South Africa) -- Case studies en
dc.subject.lcsh Government aid to information services -- Emfuleni Local Municipality (South Africa) -- Case studies en
dc.title The contribution of library programmes at the Emfuleni Library and Information Services in creating social capital to reduce poverty en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Information Science en D. Litt. et Phil. (Information Science)

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